25th Annual RGV Birding Festival
Begins On November 7, 2018

Municipal Auditorium

1204 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen, Tx.

About Event 2017

Situated in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen is the ideal location to venture from for excellent birding. Within 90 minutes are dry, desert habitats to the west, and the coastal habitats are only 60 minutes to the east, with a riparian ribbon along the entire southern boundary. For 23 years running, the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival has provided thousands of birders with life birds, those we call the “RGV Specialties”. Professional tour guides lead every trip, whether bus or van, with a low participant-to-guide ratio to provide excellent spotting and identification. Over 60 vendors of bird-related products can delight every level of birder at the Birders Bazaar, and their contributions to the Silent Auction make that event very exciting. We offer great birds, excellent guiding, educational seminars, rousing socials and FUN! Ask anybody who has been here before!

REGISTRATION FEE: A charge of $25 will be automatically included in each registration for processing and administration. This non-refundable fee is required for every registrant, and is termed a Registration Fee.

KISKADEE PASS: An all-event ticket has been created to save on individual pricing of seminars, workshops and keynote speakers. Choose the Kiskadee Pass option for $25 when you select your field trips in order to get in to all educational activities. This savings will only be available during the open registration period. Individual pricing for seminars and workshops will be in effect after October 18, so be sure to select the Kiskadee Pass on your registration form!

Sponsors

Great Kiskadee Sponsors

Speakers

Keynotes, workshops and seminars

Speaker
Nathan Pieplow is the author of the newly-released Peterson Field Guide to Birds Sounds of Eastern North America. His blog, “Earbirding”, focuses on his in-depth study. A co-author of the website “Colorado Birding Trail”, and a former editor of the journal Colorado Birds, he currently teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Let Nathan help you visualize bird sounds!
KEYNOTE: Nathan Pieplow

Bird Sounds Decoded - Thursday 6:15 pm

Speaker
In 2015, Noah traveled 41 countries and all seven continents to set the world record by seeing 6,042 species of birds (more than half the birds on the planet) in one calendar year. He has written three books, is an Associate Editor of Birding magazine, and is seasonally the on-board ornithologist for expeditions to Antarctica and the high Arctic.
KEYNOTE: Noah Strycker

Birding Without Borders: An Epic World Big Year - Friday 6:15 pm

Speaker
 

Speaker
Nancy is a professor of environmental science at the University of Maryland and a biologist at the National Bird Banding Laboratory.  Since then she’s worked for The Nature Conservancy, the Smithsonian Institution and started a non-profit watershed association. She holds an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and lives in Ellicott City, MD with her husband, Paul, and their three young children.
Nancy McAllister

Mom’s Big Year - Saturday 2:00 pm

Speaker
Caleb Arellano is a grad student at UTRGV, studying breeding behavior and biology in different parrot species under the umbrella of Dr. Karl Berg’s Avian Ecology Lab.
Caleb Arellano

Red-Crowned Parrots in the Rio Grande Valley - Thursday 2:00 pm

Speaker
Simon Kiacz is a grad student at Texas A&M University, documenting the current population status, habitat usage, and potential threats to the native Red-crowned Parrots of the RGV.
Simon Kiacz

Red-Crowned Parrots in the Rio Grande Valley - Thursday 2:00 pm

2017 Festival Schedule

The RGVBF has long been known for its low ratio of participants to guides and for the quality of its leaders. Check out the Trip Leaders section for a summary of this year’s guides, including returning favorites Jon Dunn, Kevin Karlson, Michael O’Brien, and Louise Zemaitis, plus many more familiar names in the professional birding community.  New guides for 2017 include our two keynote speakers, Noah Strycker and Nathan Pieplow.  We have an outstanding group of talent this year to guide our field trips!

While we have kept the classic field trips that define our Festival, we have also added a few new locations, and a few twists on old favorites. Click on Schedule for a simple overview of the daily trips.  Below is a more detailed daily description of the activities offered, with access to the specific information in each box.

Day 1 - Wednesday
  • 5:00 am - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

    Fee $115 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 am - SEEDEATER SOJOURN

    Fee $115 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:30 am - RANCHO LOMITAS AND LAS ESTRELLAS

    Fee $95 / 5:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS

    with Tom Langschied Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE with Stephanie Bilodeau

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

    Fee $75 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - CACTUS CREEK RANCH

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County

    Fee $80/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - MCALLEN NATURE CENTER AND SAN JUAN WETLANDS

    Fee $65 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - OLD PORT ISABEL ROAD – APLOMADO ALLEY

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - PHOTOGRAPHING VALLEY SPECIALTIES with Larry Ditto and Bill Supulski

    Fee $155 / 7am – 2pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

    Fee $65 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - BECOMING AN EXPERT LISTENER with Nathan Pieplow

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 5pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - WELCOME KICK-OFF RECEPTION

    5pm – 7pm  (Special Event) Read more.  Map

Day 2 - Thursday
  • 5:00 am - SEEDEATER SOJOURN

    Fee $115 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $90 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS

    with Tom Langschied Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KLEBERG WETLANDS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Kevin Karlson

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

    Fee $65 / 6am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN ACTION

    on SPI with Larry Ditto Fee $185 / 6am – 3pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ARROYO COLORADO UNIT

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BAHIA GRANDE UNIT

    Fee $75 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - CACTUS CREEK RANCH

    Fee $85 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS

    with Dorian Anderson - Bentsen-RGV Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIRDING 101 WORKSHOP

    Fee $70 / 7am - 3pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - OLD PORT ISABEL ROAD – APLOMADO ALLEY

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE WITH JON DUNN

    Fee $95 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - RESACA DE LA PALMA STATE PARK and UNIVERSITY RESACAS

    Fee $65 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW, SILENT AUCTION & RAPTOR PROJECT

    Trade Show 12noon - 6pm  Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - RED-CROWNED PARROTS

    with Caleb Arellano and Simon Kiacz Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 3:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - SUNSETS, BIRDS and BEERS

    Fee $150 / 2pm – 8pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - KISKADEE KORDIAL

    5pm – 6pm (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:15 pm - KEYNOTE: Bird Sounds Decoded with Nathan Pieplow

     Free with Kiskadee Pass / 6:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

Day 3 - Friday
  • 5:00 am - UPPER RIO GRANDE

    Fee $90 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:30 am - RANCHO LOMITAS AND LAS ESTRELLAS

    Fee $95 / 5:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS with Tom Langschied

    Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - PHOTO OPS RANCH STYLE with Ruth Hoyt

    Fee $215 / Friday, Saturday 6am - 2pm  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND and BAY CRUISE

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTHMOST PRESERVE

    Fee $65 / 6am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - AUDUBON ISLANDS of LAGUNA MADRE with Stephanie Bilodeau

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BIRD SOUNDS DECODED with Nathan Pieplow

    Fee $95 / 6:30am - 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - PORT MANSFIELD

    Fee $95 / 6:30am – 4pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - OLD PORT ISABEL ROAD – APLOMADO ALLEY

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - ORNITHOLOGY AND MORE WITH JON DUNN

    Fee $95 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Resaca de la Palma SP

    Fee $80 /  7:30am – 12:30pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 9:00 am - BUTTERFLIES – RGV JEWELS

    Fee $75 / 9am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW AND SILENT AUCTION

    Free! Open to the public Silent auction bidding: 12noon - 6pm. Bidding Closes 5pm Saturday Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT

    with Jonathan Wood     Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - BIRDING THE WORLD

    Free! Open to the Public / 2pm – 5pm (20 minute sessions) (Seminar) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - KISKADEE KORDIAL

    5pm – 6pm (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:15 pm - KEYNOTE: An Epic World Big Year with Noah Strycker

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 6:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

Day 4 - Saturday
  • 5:00 am - SANTA MARGARITA BLUFFS

    Fee $115 / 5am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - BIG SIT!

    Sat / 6am - 6pm  (Special Event) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - BIG DAY VANS

    Fee $110 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KLEBERG WETLANDS

    Fee $95 / 6am – 4:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - PHOTO OPS RANCH STYLE with Ruth Hoyt

    Fee $215 / Friday, Saturday 6am - 2pm  (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND and BAY CRUISE

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BIRD SOUNDS DECODED with Nathan Pieplow

    Fee $95 / 6:30am - 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - EDINBURG AND QUINTA MAZATLAN

    Fee $70 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - LAGUNA ATASCOSA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - SANTA ANA NWR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Hidalgo County

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Southmost Preserve of The Nature Conservancy

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - IDEA CAMP RIO

    Fee $70 / 7am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - WESLACO’S URBAN OASES

    Fee $65 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW, SILENT AUCTION & RAPTOR PROJECT

    Trade Show 12noon - 6pm  Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT

    with Jonathan Wood     Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 2:00 pm - MOM'S BIG YEAR by Nancy McAllister

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 2pm – 3:15pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 3:00 pm - DIGISCOPING FROM THE DECK with Clay Taylor

    Fee $30 / 3pm – 6pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 3:30 pm - ROUND TABLE: PLANNING FOR A BIG YEAR

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 3:30pm – 5pm (Seminar) Read more.

  • 4:00 pm - PARROTS OF THE AREA

    Fee $40 / 4pm – 6pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 5:00 pm - THE TEXAS TWO-STEP, BBQ & DANCE

    Open to the Public / 5pm – 9pm (Special Event) Read more.

Day 5 - Sunday
  • 6:00 am - COLLEY'S "PRIVATE" ISLAND w/ Scarlet & George Colley

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - KING RANCH NORIAS

    with Tom Langschied Fee $110 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - MARTIN REFUGE

    Fee $200/ 6am – 1:45pm (PhotoTrack) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - RIVER PONTOON and ANZALDUAS

    Fee $90 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:00 am - SHOREBIRD ID with Kevin Karlson

    Fee $95 / 6am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BENTSEN – RIO GRANDE STATE PARK

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - BOCA CHICA

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - eBIRD TIPS AND TRICKS

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - ESTERO LLANO GRANDE GRAND TOUR

    Fee $65 / 6:30am – 12:30pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - WHERE THE LOCALS BIRD - Cameron County

    Fee $80/ 6:30am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 6:30 am - YOUNG BIRDERS

    Fee $80 / 6:30am – 2pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BIKING for BIRDS with Dorian Anderson - Laguna Atascosa NWR

    Fee $80 / 7am – 1pm  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS AT THE INN AT CHACHALACA BEND

    with Noah Strycker Fee $85 / 7am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - EASY (BUT NOT LESS!) BIRDING TOUR

    Fee $70 / 7am – 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - IDEA CAMP RIO

    Fee $70 / 7am – 12noon  (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:00 am - OLD PORT ISABEL ROAD – APLOMADO ALLEY

    Fee $65 / 7am - 1pm (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 7:30 am - BIRD BANDING with Mark Conway

    Fee $75 / 7:30am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 8:00 am - SCOOTER BIRDING

    Fee $50 / 8am – 12noon (Field Trip) Read more.

  • 12:00 pm - TRADE SHOW

    Free! Open to the public Sunday 12noon – 4pm (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 1:00 pm - The RAPTOR PROJECT

    with Jonathan Wood     Flight Shows 1pm & 3pm Free (Trade Show) Read more.

  • 1:30 pm - ART & WRITING AWARDS

    Free with Kiskadee Pass / 1:30pm – (Seminar) Read more.

FAQ

Generic Questions About The Festival

This year’s festival is scheduled for Nov 8th -12th, 2017.  The registration desk at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium will open on Tuesday, Nov 7th from noon to 5 PM.  Plan to pick-up your registration materials at that time.
Request additional information at [email protected], or call 209-227-4823. For registration questions, call 956-423-5565. Be sure to leave name and phone number clearly should you need to leave a message.
A brochure can be downloaded from the website, or mailed to you. Email your request to [email protected], and include complete name, mailing address and phone number.
For additional information: call (209) 227-4823 or email [email protected].
For registration questions: call (956) 423-5565 or email [email protected].
For mailing: RGVBF,  PO Box 3162, Harlingen, TX  78551.
Office location:  Chamber of Commerce Building, 311 E Tyler Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550.
Harlingen is located in the very southern tip of Texas, about 30 miles west of the Gulf of Mexico and 15 miles north of the Rio Grande River.  It is a city of about 75,000 people, and is the fourth largest city in the Rio Grande Valley. Harlingen has the least expensive cost of living in the United States.
Harlingen by air: Fly into Harlingen’s Valley International Airport (HRL).  It is serviced by Delta, United, Southwest and seasonally by Sun Country Airlines (Nov-Apr).  Most flights connect through Houston (IAH or HOU) or Dallas (DFW or DAL).  With only 8 gates, the airport offers a very pleasant experience to fly in and out.   Rental cars are available on site, and reservations are required.
Harlingen by car: Harlingen is located at the confluence of the new  & I2-Faq (locally, US Hwy 77 & 83). It is a two-hour drive south of Corpus Christi and a four-hour drive south of San Antonio.   You don’t want to know how long it takes to drive to El Paso.
The Festival does not provide shuttle service between the airport, hotels, restaurants or Festival activities. Some of the hotels may provide limited shuttle service to the airport, but in order to best experience the Festival and our unique area, we strongly encourage renting a car. While your mornings are spent on field trips, the afternoons are your opportunity to wander, chase and explore.
Harlingen offers a wide variety of hotel properties and rates to accommodate every visitor. For a printable version of Festival-friendly recommendations and preferred rates, click here.

For a Harlingen Visitors Guide, go to visitharlingentexas.com or call the Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 531-7346.

Once in Harlingen, stop by the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce (311 E Tyler Street) or the Texas Travel Information Center (2021 W Harrison, at the junction of I-2 and I-69E underpass) for brochures on local and Valley-wide attractions.

We strongly suggest you stay in Harlingen, as trip departures are EARLY, and buses do not wait for tardy birders!

++ Border Patrol Checkpoint requires identification
BEGINNER(Beginners are always welcome on all trips. Some sites are easier for new birders to spot birds and enjoy their trip.)
Bentsen SP
Bird Banding
Birding 101
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Easy (But Not Less!)
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlan
Estero Llano Grande Grand Tour
Idea Camp Rio
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Parrots of the Area
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Ana NWR
Weslaco
EASIER (For those who prefer minimal walking)
Big Easy (Handicap accessible only)
Bird Banding
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Butterflies
Colleys’ “Private” Island
Easy (But Not Less!) Tours
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlan
Laguna Atascosa NWR
Old Port Isabel Road
Parrots of the Area
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Weslaco
FAMILY (Families are welcome on any trip, and the following would be a special experience)
Bird Banding
Birding 101
Butterflies
Cactus Creek Ranch
Colleys’ “Private” Island
Edinburg & Quinta Mazatlan
Idea Camp Rio
McAllen Nature Center & San Juan Wetlands
Parrots of the Area
Resaca de la Palma SP
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
CLASSICS (First trip to the Valley? Here are the famous not-to-be-missed sites)
Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park
Estero Llano Grande State Park
King Ranch
Laguna Atascosa NWR
Sabal Palm Sanctuary
Santa Ana NWR
South Padre Island & Bay Cruise
Upper Rio Grande
BEEN BEFORE? (Interesting choices beyond the famous parks)
Arroyo Colorado Unit
Audubon Islands
Bahia Grande
Big Day Vans
Biking for Birds
Bird Sounds Decoded
Boca Chica ++
Breakfast with the Birds at Chachalaca Bend
Butterflies
Cactus Creek Ranch
Colleys’ “Private” Island
eBird Tips and Tricks
Idea Camp Rio
Kleberg Wetlands ++
Old Port Isabel Road
Ornithology & More with Jon Dunn
Port Mansfield
Rancho Lomitas
River Pontoon & Anzalduas
Santa Margarita Bluffs
Seedeater Sojourn
Shorebird ID
Southmost Preserve
Where the Locals Bird
The Birders Bazaar runs Thursday through Sunday (Nov. 9 – 12, noon to 6 pm/4 pm on Sunday), and vendors must commit to stay for the entire show.  Contact Marilyn Vincent at [email protected] to become a vendor.  Priority is given to vendor attendees from the 2016 Festival in the spring, then open booths are released to new vendors on June 1.  Your application is time-stamped, so early responders have the best opportunity.  Any reserved booths not paid by the deadline will also be released to new vendors.

  • Booth Fees (2017)
    • Standard Booth (8’x10’) –  Commercial vendors $200
    • Non-profit organizations $125
    • Each booth includes 1-6’ skirted table, electrical access, and WiFi
    • Extra 6’ skirted table – $30 each
    • Endcap Booths (8’x16’) – limited number, included with certain levels of sponsorship
If you are interested in supporting the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, become a sponsor! Depending on the level of sponsorship, the benefits to you range from exposure on our website’s home page or sponsor link, possible free booths or endcaps guaranteed at the Birders Bazaar Tradeshow (if submitted by July 1), recognition on RGVBF Facebook page plus other media, placing inserts into Registrant’s Packets, Festival gear and events plus an invite to the very popular Welcome Reception.

  • Sponsorship Levels*
    • Great Kiskadee $5,000+
    • Red-crowned Parrot $2,500+
    • Ringed Kingfisher $1,000+
    • Chachalaca $ 250+
    • Feathered Friends $ 100+

*Sponsorships can be made through cash donations, in-kind donations, or a combination of the two.

Contact Norma Friedrich at [email protected] for additional information and a sponsorship packet.  Documents are available for the Sponsor Newsletter and Pledge Form – click on the Downloads tab above. Many thanks to our current sponsors!

We hope you have benefitted from the thousands of birders that visit our website, see our brochure, are our Facebook friends, perused the Birders Bazaar, and/or have attended at least one of our 23 annual Birding Festivals!

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